Open Thread: Sunday Salmagundi

(Tom Toles via GoComics.com)
__
In an entirely different sense, Katrina vanden Heuvel hopes that the progressive backlash against Rick Sanctorom-onius and his ilk might just make 2012 a”Year of the Woman“: “It also seems that support for Democratic women candidates is attributable to more than choice and health issues. A poll conducted by EMILY’s List on January 31 shows that the issues women consider priorities are the economy, tax fairness, Social Security and Medicare…”

***********
But Cheryl Russell at TNR worries that young people won’t turn out to vote this year:

… So why don’t young adults vote? That’s a vexing question political campaigns have been asking for decades. The most likely answer is that young adults do not vote because many are still—in a sense—children, without adult commitments or responsibilities. The data suggest that three factors consistently make a difference in voting rates: money, marriage, and homeownership. Those are the adult commitments that give people a stake in society; to protect and expand their stake, they vote. Take a look at money and voting: The gap in voter participation between the highest and lowest income groups is a stunning 26 percentage points. For marriage and homeownership, the gaps are 16 to 17 percent.
__
Recent years have seen Americans in their twenties delay starting careers, getting married, and buying homes—and as the road to adulthood has lengthened, voting rates among the young have generally fallen (the notable exceptions are 2004 and 2008). Now, the bad economy is exacerbating these trends. For the nation’s young, the Great Recession has turned money, marriage, and homeownership into an impossible dream…

***********
Harold Meyerson at The American Prospect does a take-down on American Select — I mean, Americans Elect — aka “Wall Street’s Third Party“:

… The digitization of politics is only part of Americans Elect’s mission. Its other, greater purpose is to give a voice to what it believes is the “disempowered center” of American politics—thus the requirement that its presidential ticket must represent both parties. What the country needs, Americans Elect insists, are leaders who draw their ideas and support from both parties, from liberals and conservatives. If you press them, Americans Elect’s officials go further and say that what the country really needs are culturally liberal, fiscally conservative leaders—leaders whose thinking matches that of the nation’s socially enlightened business elites from whose brow Americans Elect has sprung.
__
“What do I want in the ticket?” asks Eliot Cutler, who ran an unsuccessful independent campaign for governor of Maine in 2010 (splitting the center-left vote and thereby helping elect a right-wing Republican) and is a member of Americans Elect’s nine-member board of directors. “A ticket that reflects moderate politics, a pragmatic approach to politics, that looks like the Bowles-Simpson Commission in terms of approach—people who reflect my own biases toward social progressivism and fiscal discipline.”…

This is actual journalism, as opposed to the Moustache of Understanding’s latest tongue bath of Pete Peterson’s anti-populist sockpuppet, which calls itself “the Comeback America Initiative”. Pete Peterson just wants his Gilded Age back! Being an entitled rich sociopath really meant something in those dear dead days!

**************
Apropos of absolutely nothing, a vintage British bank robbery saga goes Southern Gothic as “19 Years and £1 Million Later, a Past Catches Up“.

***********
Brad Plumer at Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog (WaPo) wonders how much online shopping has influenced the cutback in Americans’ gasoline useage.

***********
And the NYTimes is happy to tell us that “Foxconn Plans to Lift Pay Sharply at Factories in China“, which some people say could maybe just possibly be related to the problem that Chinese workers are becoming less accepting of slave-labor conditions.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

18 replies
  1. 1
    MattF says:

    I don’t think the ‘young people not voting’ question is all that mysterious–young people will vote if candidates who want to represent them address their interests. Otherwise, not so much.

  2. 2
    Soonergrunt says:

    I happen to think that this will be a very good year for the Democratic party. I think a piss-poor candidate (and that’s ALL they have left) at the top of the ticket will definitely suppress Republican turn out, and if they have a brokered convention that will do the same thing.
    I think I’ll put together a post on my thoughts on that and put it up later.
    Thanks, Anne Laurie!

  3. 3
    MikeJ says:

    Brad Plumer at Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog (WaPo) wonders how much online shopping has influenced the cutback in Americans’ gasoline useage.

    They don’t talk about how much fuel is used by UPS to bring the stuff you buy to you. It would be interesting to compare how much fuel is burned by me driving two miles to the mall in a car that gets [US avg MPG] vs the daily burn of a UPS truck/number of stops.

    On the plus side, at least UPS is diligently trying to keep fuel burn down. On the down side, if I combine shopping trips I can improve the average from a car.

    (note I only count car v delivery truck and omit shipping to the local area, After all, the goods have to get to your neighborhood either way)

  4. 4
    trollhattan says:

    LOVE the Toles!

    That is all.

  5. 5
    jenn says:

    Cheryl Russell’s thesis seems a little suspect: Young people aren’t voting … except for the past 8 years, when turnout has been higher. Maybe she’s right, and turnout will be lower; or maybe the past 2 general elections that have had higher turnout will be a better predictor. She utterly fails to consider the fact that the nadir of the youth vote occurred to an entirely different cohort of people than those who are young today. Kids of the ’90s had a pretty prosperous economy overall, and by the 2000 election were told that “there’s no difference between the 2 parties.” Well, Bush II kind of put the kibosh on that, didn’t he? Maybe the reasons that 2004 and 2008 results were higher hasn’t gone away?

    Oh, and comparing youth turnout to over-65 is a false comparison — the majority of folks over 65 are retired and without young kids, and therefore don’t have to make the choice between voting and work/kids. If you want to talk about the degeneracy of kids today, at least compare to a somewhat comparable group of older folks.

  6. 6
    Jennifer says:

    I love the ongoing speculation about a brokered convention. As if that will solve anything for the Republicans. Now they’re whispering about drafting Jeb Bush. The problem with that is it will alienate the Draft Palin crowd, which is at the crux of the problem they’ve already got: the money establishment types want a non-crazy (Romney) while the crazies want a crazy (latest crush: Santorum). The same dynamic would play out in any brokered convention, except instead of merely being disappointed by having a nothing candidate like Romney on the ticket, the base would be enraged that the nomination was “stolen” from them by the money wing.

    Good times, good times.

  7. 7
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Anne Laurie, I know there are some BJ commenters who give you a hard time for quoting extensively from and linking extensively to other sites. I’m not sure why that would be a problem or something to complain about, but just for the record I admire your skills as an aggregator. You generally provide a bit of your own commentary, and clearly take care to find interesting articles on related themes, or point up the high contrast between two different takes on the same issue. in other words, you don’t simply toss up a bunch of random links, and you have led me frequently to sites I would never have found on my own and viewpoints I might not have considered.

    Truth be known, I can’t think of a front pager here that I would dismiss out of hand, and that includes EDK. Okay, I admit Randinho gets more down in the weeds about football than I really care about, so he gets somewhat fewer eyeballs from me — but you all contribute something of value and that’s why I keep coming back. John Cole, if you’re reading this, congratulations on picking such a good FP crew.

  8. 8
    currants says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Here, Here! (Hear, Hear?) I don’t have time to read as much as I used to (or would like to), so I really appreciate this kind of post, Anne Laurie. (Also I’d never have found Charlie Pierce on my own…ESQUIRE?? Nope. Taibbi in Rolling Stone, maybe.)

    So thank you–that’s all!

  9. 9

    IIRC, I was well over the age of 25 when I voted for the first time. 28?

    Why? Dunno. I’ll have to think on that question a bit.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    namekarB says:

    @MikeJ:

    They don’t talk about how much fuel is used by UPS to bring the stuff you buy to you.

    Also too, consider how much fuel is used to freight the goods to the retail outlet.

    Thus we have fuel to ship from overseas to America. Then we have fuel to ship to the warehouse. Finally you either have fuel to deliver from warehouse to your home (online shopping) or fuel to ship warehouse to retail outlet and personal fuel to get to retail outlet and home again.

    I won’t even get in to how much fuel is used to 1) acquire the resources to produce the goods and 2) how much fuel is in the goods and 3) how much fuel is used to make the goods.

  12. 12
    Mnemosyne says:

    @MikeJ:

    It would be interesting to compare how much fuel is burned by me driving two miles to the mall in a car that gets [US avg MPG] vs the daily burn of a UPS truck/number of stops.

    You might be surprised, actually — UPS (and FedEx) take a lot of steps to minimize fuel usage since that’s an overhead cost that otherwise cuts into profits.

    Plus, you have to keep in mind that we’re not only counting your trip to the mall — we have to count a trip to the mall for each of the hundreds of people that one UPS truck delivers to every day and see if having one truck make all of those deliveries is using more fuel than combining how much fuel each of those people make a separate trip would use.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:

    @namekarB:

    Finally you either have fuel to deliver from warehouse to your home (online shopping) or fuel to ship warehouse to retail outlet and personal fuel to get to retail outlet and home again.

    But doesn’t that answer the question right there? Having UPS bring it to your house from the warehouse would use less fuel overall than having them (or another carrier) bring it from the warehouse to the store since that would be followed by the fuel use of the hundreds of people who then go to the store.

  14. 14
    namekarB says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    That was my point. One needs to look at the entire process when determining how much fuel it takes to produce and ship the goods.

    Consider that it takes 7 gallons of petroleum to produce a single automobile tire to give you an idea of the scope of the problem. Whether one orders the tire online or goes to a tire dealer, the fuel for such decision is miniscule compared to the fuel used to acquire the tire.

  15. 15
    currants says:

    @MikeJ: Thankee kindly, good sir.

  16. 16
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @currants:

    “Hear, hear!” seems to be a short form of “Hear [him], hear [him]!” — kind of an archaic form of the famous OWS mic check. Definitely not “Present, present!” or “In this place, in this place!” although Wikipedia says the latter (incorrect) spelling is actually more common on the Internets. (Why am I not surprised?)

    And why — apart from the fact that it’s unpronounceable — can’t I write the above parenthetical query as “Why amn’t I surprised?” ?

  17. 17
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @currants:

    “Hear, hear!” seems to be a short form of “Hear [him], hear [him]!” — kind of an archaic form of the famous OWS mic check. Definitely not “Present, present!” or “In this place, in this place!” although Wikipedia says the latter (incorrect) spelling is actually more common on the Internets. (Why am I not surprised?)

    And why — apart from the fact that it’s pretty unpronounceable — can’t I write the above parenthetical query as “Why amn’t I surprised?” ?

  18. 18
    John Hain says:

    Myerson’s opinions about Americans Elect totally miss the real purpose of the organization, which is to offer a revolutionary method for selecting a Presidential candidate who is willing to share the ticket with someone with differing views. Most importantly, the process is open to all registered voters who simply join, formulate policy questions, answer questions about their political views, and support and/or draft candidates that match their preferences — a system of internet match-making between voters and candidates. So it is not a party at all, but rather a process that makes party-run politics obsolete. Get used to the idea, because it is far more directly democratic, efficient, and potentially all-inclusive than our present system that obviously is corrupt and polarizing.

Comments are closed.